1877 Robbing the dead

1877 Dixons mortuary

1877 Dixons mortuary

I was saddened to learn that not all Blantyre people acted with good character after the mining disaster of October 1877. Mr Neil Douglas observed one of those unscrupulous individuals, when in the days after the pit tragedy in High Blantyre Mr Douglas, the colliery cashier has seen one of the bodies brought into the mortuary was adorned with a silver pocket watch.This fact did not go unnoticed by others.

Neil later observed a suspicious looking person extract the watch from the pocket of the dead man, lain out for identification. Neil, a burly man laid hold of the individual and handed him over to the police. The crowd of relatives outside, upon hearing of this despicable act, wanted to deal with him themselves, but the police intervened to protect the prisoner.  I could maybe stretch my imagination far enough to consider that maybe one evil minded individual would attempt to steal from the dead, but unfortunately, it happened a few times, with items like snuff boxes and watches being taken. There are several sporadic reports in the days that followed of theft from the dead. Pictured is a sketch of the scene at the Dixons mortuary.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

William Stewart Scumbbags
Joy McLennan poverty causes men to do evil….
Betty McLean An awful thing to do.

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